Election 2010 Lookahead: Sunday 11 April

The who, when and where of the campaign.

Twenty five days to go and counting:

Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats

All three parties are being a little cagey about their campaigning plans today, perhaps too busy finishing off their manifestos (Labour is due to unveil its own tomorrow, the Tory party on Tuesday). So we know, for example, that Nick Clegg is visiting three constituencies today and travelling in a plane chartered from RAF Northolt, but to which constituencies, we don't know. Meanwhile, we're guessing it's a day of rest for Sam Cam after her visit to Yorkshire yesterday and some expert video blogging. Meanwhile, the big question in Labour circles is whether Gordon Brown will disappear to Hampden Park at 3pm to watch the Scottish Cup semi-final featuring Raith Rovers and Dundee United. Brown is a lifelong Raith Rovers fan.

Other parties

The British National Party's Nick Griffin continues his "National Weekend of Action", aka some canvassing in Barking and Dagenham with the BNP London Assembly member, Richard Barnbrook. In response, the RMT union has organised an anti-BNP rally in Barking. Among those expected to attend are the union's general secretary, Bob Crow, the musician Billy Bragg and the former England footballer Luther Blissett, representing Show Racism the Red Card.

The media

With the usual mix of The Andrew Marr Show and the Politics Show today, let us mark your card for the other leaders' debates. While Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are prepping for their first head-to-head-to-head on Thursday 15 April (8.30pm, ITV1), leaders from the Scottish Parliament will also be debating soon. For your diary, the dates to see the Scottish First Minister and SNP leader, Alex Salmond, the Scottish Conservatives leader, Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray, and the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Tavish Scott, are 20 April (STV), 25 April (Sky) and 2 May (BBC).

Away from the campaign trail

. . . and on to another campaign. Sudan is holding its first multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections in 24 years. Today's twice-delayed poll is the first since 1986, when Sadiq al-Mahdi's Umma party was victorious. Three years later the government was overthrown in a military coup that ultimately brought Omar el-Bashir to power.

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Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

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Why relations between Theresa May and Philip Hammond became tense so quickly

The political imperative of controlling immigration is clashing with the economic imperative of maintaining growth. 

There is no relationship in government more important than that between the prime minister and the chancellor. When Theresa May entered No.10, she chose Philip Hammond, a dependable technocrat and long-standing ally who she had known since Oxford University. 

But relations between the pair have proved far tenser than anticipated. On Wednesday, Hammond suggested that students could be excluded from the net migration target. "We are having conversations within government about the most appropriate way to record and address net migration," he told the Treasury select committee. The Chancellor, in common with many others, has long regarded the inclusion of students as an obstacle to growth. 

The following day Hammond was publicly rebuked by No.10. "Our position on who is included in the figures has not changed, and we are categorically not reviewing whether or not students are included," a spokesman said (as I reported in advance, May believes that the public would see this move as "a fix"). 

This is not the only clash in May's first 100 days. Hammond was aggrieved by the Prime Minister's criticisms of loose monetary policy (which forced No.10 to state that it "respects the independence of the Bank of England") and is resisting tougher controls on foreign takeovers. The Chancellor has also struck a more sceptical tone on the UK's economic prospects. "It is clear to me that the British people did not vote on June 23 to become poorer," he declared in his conference speech, a signal that national prosperity must come before control of immigration. 

May and Hammond's relationship was never going to match the remarkable bond between David Cameron and George Osborne. But should relations worsen it risks becoming closer to that beween Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Like Hammond, Darling entered the Treasury as a calm technocrat and an ally of the PM. But the extraordinary circumstances of the financial crisis transformed him into a far more assertive figure.

In times of turmoil, there is an inevitable clash between political and economic priorities. As prime minister, Brown resisted talk of cuts for fear of the electoral consequences. But as chancellor, Darling was more concerned with the bottom line (backing a rise in VAT). By analogy, May is focused on the political imperative of controlling immigration, while Hammond is focused on the economic imperative of maintaining growth. If their relationship is to endure far tougher times they will soon need to find a middle way. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.